Companion Resources

Companion Resources

Class Meetings still gather today whenever a group enters into one another’s lives to answer the question, “How is your spiritual life?” Photo by pchow98, courtesy of Flickr

 

Informational Resources about Accountable Discipleship

 

Lewis Center Resources

These web links are provided by permission from Leading Ideas, a free e-newsletter from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary and available at churchleadership.com.

The Lent Challenge

Tom Berlin, pastor of Floris United Methodist Church, challenges his congregation to deepen their spiritual journey during Lent by taking up the disciplines of worship, study, and scripture reading rather than giving up chocolates or dessert.

 

What is Your Faith Development Process?

Many churches Kay Kotan and Bishop Bob Farr encounter have at best an unintentional faith development process that leads people to church membership rather than discipleship. This unintentional approach produces people who worked really hard operating the church. It added a lot of busyness to a lot of already busy lives. And churches have mistaken busyness as discipleship.

 

 

Accountable Discipleship & the Small Church

Resources for Congregations Averaging under 35 in Worship

Connexions: Church as Class Meeting 

By the Rev. Dr. Richard Gifford

Download the Story of the Connexions Gathering (Multi-Page PDF)

Download a Two-Page Outline of the weekly Class Meeting and Worship (2 Page PDF)

This article was commissioned by the Center for Vitality to assist small churches worshipping under 35 in attendance imagine a possible new way to imagine “doing church in an (old) new way.  It tells the story of a journey one small church has taken to imagine church as a class meeting in the Wesleyan Tradition, and the members have been equipped to share their faith in Christ and they have grown deeper in their discipleship.  Dr. Gifford is the pastor of the Wye Mountain Church and Connexions Wesleyan Microchurch Network.  He and the Adona UMC have begun an experiment gathering their church as a Wesleyan small group.

“Bigger is better … right?

Well, maybe not in all cases, but in principle, bigger is better … right?

Well, maybe not in principle, but in most cases, bigger is better … right?

Well, maybe not in most cases, but in some cases, bigger is better … right? Right!

So, how about when “making disciples who make disciples for the transformation of the world”?

Is bigger better then? Let’s talk!”

 

 

Additional Companion Resources

 

 

Worship & Preaching Tools

Sermon Samples and Helps

See Sermon Helps from Dr. Michelle Morris at the Preaching & Worship Resources Page

The first sermon series, “Home Improvement: Renovated by Grace”, focuses on a Wesleyan understanding of grace, and will then propose class meetings as a means for growing in grace. This series will use our recent obsession with home improvement and building shows as an approachable means of understanding this process, building on the Wesleyan concept of grace as a house.  The second series, entitled “Mission Critical,”  focuses on the realities of the 21st century church, and integrate a case for recovery of the class meeting within that series.

 

 

Covenant Discipleship Resources from Discipleship Ministries

 

Adults:

Disciples Making Disciples: Guide for Covenant Discipleship Groups and Class Leaders by Steven W. Manskar is for pastors, Covenant Discipleship group members, and class leaders. It provides information needed to organize the ministry, form groups, write a covenant, lead a meeting, support groups so they help the congregation live out its mission of making disciples for the transformation of the world. The book also describes the office of class leaders and how to introduce this powerful disciple-making office to the congregation.

 

Youth:

Everyday Disciples: Covenant Discipleship With Youth by Chris Wilterdink resources pastors, youth leaders, and youth groups with information and planning materials related to Covenant Discipleship and accountability practices. Covenant Discipleship encourages youth to connect with Christ and one another through mutual accountability. It also encourages a networked support structure for living in the world as Christ followers.

 

Children:

Growing Everyday Disciples: Covenant Discipleship With Children is a formational resource by Melanie C. Gordon, Susan Groseclose, and Gayle Quay that equips adults who serve in ministry with children ages 8-11 to guide children towards a mature faith through everyday acts of compassion, justice, worship, and devotion under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Covenant Discipleship helps connect children with Jesus Christ and one another through ongoing mutual accountability and support for living in the world as Christ followers. The resource offers leaders in ministry with children suggestions for forming covenants, exploring accountability, evaluations, and a choice of plans to organize, maintain, and evaluate Covenant Discipleship groups with children. This resource also provides a brief background on discipleship, covenants, and society meetings of the Methodist Movement, and can be used as preparation for confirmation.


Dr. Kevin Watson’s The Class Meeting

Chapter 1 Preview of Kevin Watson’s The Class Meeting (PDF from Seedbed Publishing)

In The Class Meeting, Kevin Watson pulls a play from the playbook of John Wesley and brings it to life for today’s Church.

“Because most small groups are built around curricular study resources, people rarely get down to the real substance of what small groups are all about: transformation, or becoming like Christ. Most Christians know much more than they are practicing or applying to their lives. Class meetings were essential for the first Methodists, and they are essential today, because they helped people grow in faith in Christ and learn how to follow Jesus with their lives.” – Kevin Watson

The Class Meeting turns decisively to a time tested and proven method presenting a new solution. Though the early Methodists were a “people of one book,” they utilized the small group structure not to study the bible, but rather to lovingly engage one another in conversations about their souls. They developed a language and vocabulary to talk at deep levels about what the Holy Spirit was doing in their lives.

Watson’s book unfolds a vision and a practical strategy for developing small groups that are much simpler than the typical group, while being more productive and with greater spiritual depth. The Class Meeting is structured into an eight-week study resource designed for a small group to work through together. Along the way, your group will be progressively equipped with a shared language to talk about the work of the Holy Spirit in the inner person and a structure for holding these kinds of meetings. After eight weeks, the book is laid aside and the class meeting is born.  Order copies of The Class Meeting: Reclaiming a Forgotten (and Essential) Small Group Experience from Seedbed Publishing.


United Methodist Men



For more than 100 years, Methodist men have been gathering to study scripture, volunteer and be in community with one another. Throughout those years, men’s ministry has evolved to meet the needs of men in local churches; today, John Wesley is offering direction for the next step.

To learn more about this new take on an old concept, go to http://www.umc.org/how-we-serve/um-mens-groups-take-lead-from-john-wesley or view the video above.

 


Walk To Emmaus Reunion Groups

Those who attend a Walk to Emmaus are encouraged to:

  • Expand their own spiritual lives through worship, study and active participation in their local church
  • Become more active disciples of Christ in service to the world

To nurture this process of discipleship, the Emmaus movement offers specific opportunities.  First, groups of four to six people meet weekly to reflect on their spiritual journey and encourage one another in accountable discipleship.  Second, there are monthly community gatherings where Emmaus participants meet for fellowship, worship and instruction.  Third, community members are regularly informed of the support needs of upcoming Walk to Emmaus weekends, and other opportunities for servant leadership.

Download information on the Walk To Emmaus Reunion Card (PDF)


Accountable Discipleship companion resources curated by: